I’ve found myself with great fascination and connection to Alice in Wonderland’s song “Painting the Roses Red” since I started painting my three rose painting series in 2015.
It’s funny how in life we sometimes find ourselves with one kind of something but yet we need it to be something else. These poor guys (the cardsmen) are desperately trying to make white roses red because they need the queen to be happy. Literally NEED, not just want, her to be happy or OFFFFFFFFF with their heads. It’s life and death. They are frantically terrified but still singing and having a good ole time painting the roses red. The humor is quite TWISTED when you think about it.
Wouldn’t be so easy if we could just paint something “red” to hide it’s original state. As I sat and painted through two art classes working on my roses I sang the whole time I worked:
“I’m painting the roses red
I”m painting the roses red,
The Queen she wants them red
So we are painting the roses red.
(Yeah i know, I know, I don’t even know the entire words for the song. I admit this sounds CRAZY for someone who sang this song renlentlessly while working on this project. I half sang and half hummed it but the entire scene of the cardsmen played through my head with broken song.)
“If she saw white instead.
She’d raise a fuss.
And each of us.
Would quickly lose his head.
Soooo. we’re painting the roses Red. REDDDD!!!!”
Yeah well that’s my version at least . The version that played through head for at least 20+ hours on autoplay and repeat. I can honestly say I didn’t go crazy But rather fully embraced the song as part of the learning process of my project for advanced painting class. I decided to paint something small for my first series because normally when I paint I tended to paint the ocean and the sky – two INFINITE beings. Yes I called them beings – I’m not sure they can just be called things. So by painting something as small as a rose I’m forcing myself to paint something I see that is the complete opposite from my painting comfort zone.
I mentioned earlier this whole scenario seems kind of twisted. So the song goes to sing that even though the “cardsmen” are painting the roses red they know this will kill the roses and roses will die soon. Even with this knowledge they continue to paint the roses red to postpone the wrath of the queen. And they do it with SONG!!!! They embrace the reality of their end, their demise, happily WITH SONG. See the twisted irony?????
So maybe we don’t like the cards life deals us. No problem… Paint your roses red, change it! And don’t forget to sing while doing it. Be happy!!! If we are not happy with our outcomes we should be like the cardsmen and at least attemp a change. We need to do something to make it different. Maybe it will work. Maybe it won’t. But try with song and see what happen, life may surprise you.
Looking in a whole different direction we can look upon a quote from William Shakespeare “Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.” The cardsmen were not born great but they definately did what they could in their situation to try to achieve greatness. Eventually they had greatness thrust upon them because they escaped the wrath of the queen. With the help of Alice they achieved greatness by overcoming and surviving the wrath of the enemy. If the queen’s cards can achieve greatness then so can we all.
Let us all find inspiration in the cardsmen and try to achieve greatness. If we are lucky enough to have greatness thrust upon us hopefully we are able able to handle it, embrace it and make it into something even GREATER. Sometimes even the craziest of situations, like being dealt white roses instead of red, can be overcome.
I’ve learned from this series that sometimes we just need to paint our roses red and greatness may just follow. Because of these 3 roses I found my Wonderland and got “Lost in Wonderland”.
More images and information on my body of work “Lost In Wonderland” can be seen at MicaJoy.com. Limited Edition Prints are available for all paintings, feel free to contact me for more information.
These are My Life lessons from a Paintbrush, Alice in Wonderland and Shakespeare.
Mica Joy, 2015-2017